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Hi all,

I'm struggling to find my ideal focus light.

What I would like is:

Soft/even 120° spread focus light
10° Spot beam for spotting critters
Red light mode (integrated without any external filters)
Compact size 
Probably powered by a single 18650 cell, although AA combinations would be fine too.
Ball mount

Those are the "basic" list of required feature. Does anyone know of any that have them all? My existing focus lights each have some of them, but none of them have all.

Thank you
 

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17 minutes ago, adamhanlon said:

Hi all,

I'm struggling to find my ideal focus light.

What I would like is:

Soft/even 120° spread focus light
10° Spot beam for spotting critters
Red light mode (integrated without any external filters)
Compact size 
Probably powered by a single 18650 cell, although AA combinations would be fine too.
Ball mount

Those are the "basic" list of required feature. Does anyone know of any that have them all? My existing focus lights each have some of them, but none of them have all.

Thank you
 

I still use my Sola video 1200 because they can narrow their beam

Generally I have never used a light even for video with more than 100 degrees

You can get the Sola photo 1200 which also has a red mode however a red filter works the same and it does not have spot mode major issue for me

Weefine does a focus light that switches off with flash (rarely an issue as long as you keep the light low) but I do not think it narrows the beam

I have owned my solas for close to 10 years and changed the battery on one once. I still use them for macro video where I do not need the power and narrow beams are better

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I use a Weefine 1000FR light + WFA61 snoot lens. On its own, the light gives a wide (60 degrees) red/white beam, with the snoot lens attached it turns into an almost pinpoint spot. There is an additional constricting snoot in the package that narrows it down even more, but I've never used it on a dive. Unfortunately the snoot doesn't work with red mode, as the red LEDs are mounted off-center, and the lens turns them into two individual red beams that are angled outwards.

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Posted (edited)

I am using M1OOO WRA Focus light from a Chinese company called X-ADVENTURE.  White 1000 lumens 500 lumens 250 lumens brightness and red 200 lumens 100 lumens brightness.  It is 13cm long and weighs 130g excluding batteries. I measured the size and weight myself.

The angle 100 degrees.
 I use 18650 battery. There is also a strobe detection auto-off function.
 There are models that include snoots, but I bought a cheap snootless model.

I bought it because the cost including YS adapter was low, but I am satisfied with the quality.

 Quality and style are very similar to WEEFINE. But it's cheaper. 
 
 I've been using BIGBLUE products as focus lighting and exchanged them for X-ADVENTURE products for about a year, but they're still working well without any problems.

KakaoTalk_20210624_124009024.jpg

DSC_2203.jfif

Edited by Edy park

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Bigblue offers several lights that come close to those specs. They are one of the few that offer an adjustable beam angle.  I’ve used several of their models for years and been very happy with their performance and rugged build.  Not a budget purchase, but they’ve lasted almost forever. 
 

https://bigbluedivelights.com/product-category/photo-video-lights/

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I use the Fisheye Fix Neo Mini 1000 SWR. It is pretty close to what you want:

100 degree in wide mode (vs 120)

30 degree in spot mode (vs 10)

Integrated red mode 

It has a YS adapter that I put a ball mount onto.

I'm pretty sure it uses an 18650 battery (I usually just plug mine into the micro USB port to charge the battery)

In addition, it also has different power output levels (100-75-50-25) and has an auto shut-off mode that detects the flash and turns of for a second or two. I find it very compact and easy to use.

- brett

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3 hours ago, troporobo said:

Bigblue offers several lights that come close to those specs. They are one of the few that offer an adjustable beam angle.  I’ve used several of their models for years and been very happy with their performance and rugged build.  Not a budget purchase, but they’ve lasted almost forever. 
 

https://bigbluedivelights.com/product-category/photo-video-lights/

Those lights do look interesting indeed

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Thank you for all the suggestions.

Having stipulated what I want,  perhaps I should emphasise what I don't!

Integrated batteries with external charging
Bespoke battery packs.
A single wide soft focus beam - it needs to have a spotting mode (tight beam) option too
A need to use external color filters or beam modifiers.

2 hours ago, TmxDiver said:

Fix Neo Mini 1000 SWR

is sadly discontinued...

@troporobo - I have used Fisheye lights a lot, but can't find one with the combination of features I want. Do you have a model number?

Thank you all again,

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The Kraken (aka weefine) Hydra 1000 or 1200 is pretty much exactly what you specify. The current Model 1500 uses a 21700 battery, but maybe supports a sleeve for a 18650?

You can probably still find the older model Kraken 1200 that use an 18650 battery for sale somewhere. I have on of these i keep as a backup. I mostly use larger Kraken 2000 that uses a  swappable proprietary battery but has two control buttons for easier operation. The single button lights are rather a pain to use imho.

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@davehicks That does seem to tick all the boxes.

The 21700mcan be USB charged so no worries with that.

Thank you!

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Can anyone recommend similar that takes AA batteries (so I can remain standardised on rechargeable AA as far as possible)

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1 hour ago, JohnLiddiard said:

Can anyone recommend similar that takes AA batteries (so I can remain standardised on rechargeable AA as far as possible)

Have you looked at the Inon range, John? I just bought an Inon LF-1000S as a dive torch and they have quite a range many of which use AAs

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, adamhanlon said:

Compact size 
Probably powered by a single 18650 cell, although AA combinations would be fine too.
Ball mount

 

I have been using a light that meets these three requirements successfully for my freshwater-blackwater photography lately. Very light (in more ways than one) which is important for this application. I tired a single Inon "pencil light" (3 AAs in a line) but the AF struggled. I am finding that it takes quite a few hours to charge up the single battery. As well one has to push the button a lot to toggle through off, on1, on2, SOS, and back to off. on1 and on2 are two brightness settings. The attached pix provide a better explanation than words (shot with an Ipad mini).

I am using the larger diameter Inons for scuba (groups of 3 AAs in a plastic holder). There are bunch of models with longish names. One has a 5 degree beam and the other is wide. The 5 degree light uses 3 AAs whereas the wide one uses 6 in two holders like used in the other one (but just one holder in it). It has a 3100 in the name. There is another model with 1300 in the same place. The rest of the names are identical. Inon sent the 3100 to the US dealer instead of the 1300 (what I had ordered) which has an identical body to the 5 degree light but not as versatile and powerful. With 6 cells it can go through several dives no problem. The 5 degree light is useful for spotting things during the day at modest depths in HI, e.g., 25m, where there is little color. The 3100 etc model is used for focusing. Lots of overhangs and lava tubes so needed on almost all HI dives. I have the two lights attached to a float-arm via a 3-way clamp. The other end of the float-arm attaches to the pole-cam ball in the center of my housings. I remove the two lights with float-arm as a unit for packing the housing on and off the boat (day tripper mode in HI). This makes it possible to close the bag! I mount a dive computer on the float-arm.

IMG_0030.jpeg

IMG_0092.jpeg

IMG_0078.jpeg

IMG_0101.jpeg

Edited by Tom_Kline

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Posted (edited)

I found a shot of the scuba set up from my trip to Kauai in 2019. This was my test to make sure both strobes were working prior to a night dive. I left for the dive shop with the float -arm attached since I used short arms for the macro shooting (was able to fit in bag). Bathroom mirror in condo. Also a record that I used a dome port with the 60 Micro Nikkor for the dive! Dive computer strap can be seen. Note that the lights are flopped down (for transport) on YS segments that I forgot to mention above. Inons are not the ball type light (per Adam).The 5 degree light is the wider one! One big advantage of these lights is that the on-off switch is on the rear facing me. The inked in T and W are my attempts to idiot-proof the zoom knob. Also written on the top surface of the housing. Also on my other Seacams. I also have "zoom?" written on the top of the VF bump. This is because I do a lot of remote photography that does not involve using a viewfinder. Yes, the zoom has not been correctly set a few times! The ring rotates when mounting the lens into housing so gets re-set.

_D3Y1394-2.jpg

Edited by Tom_Kline

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6 hours ago, JohnLiddiard said:

Can anyone recommend similar that takes AA batteries (so I can remain standardised on rechargeable AA as far as possible)

The INON options are good, apart from the fact that they don't offer a red LED mode..  They are a very well built torch and turn on and off with a knob at the back which provides off/low/high so no cycling through button pushes.  There are wide beam models and 30/60° models.  I have the LF1400 model which is 30° and uses a supplied diffuser to get 60° which I find adequate for macro work. when mounted in cold shoe.

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Posted (edited)

Adam - The Bigblue VTL2600p has your specs, with the added advantage of higher output so it can serve as a backup or even primary torch.  The VTL4200p has even more output and could serve for macro video.  However they’ve changed to 36250 batteries so that’s an unnecessary complication.  

Edited by troporobo
Added model info

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1 hour ago, troporobo said:

However they’ve changed to 36250 batteries so that’s an unnecessary complication.  

That's a deal breaker! Sad because it does look good

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What's the use case for a focus light these days? Night dives? Improving focus performance for dedicated macro dives during the day?

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Kraken Hydra 1500 WSR probably has everything you want.

-Tinman

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14 minutes ago, dreifish said:

What's the use case for a focus light these days? Night dives? Improving focus performance for dedicated macro dives during the day?

For me, pictures inside a wreck when using a flash (and not continuous video light).

- brett

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I use it on night dives. Very rare to use it in daytime!

I tend to just focus on my fin and then lock the focus off in dark places in daytime.

As suggested by our amazing community, I now own a Kraken Hydra 1500 WSR. Many thanks to Doug Taleski of Kraken for shipping it over to the UK for me. Look forward to using it soon!

IMG_8696.jpegIMG_8691.jpegIMG_8685.jpegIMG_8683.jpeg

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